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Kalamazoo woman, quilters from across country gift quilt to Sgt. Proxmire's family

Quilt Donation to Proxmire Family
Posted at 5:43 PM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 17:57:39-05

KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. — It has been six months since a Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office sergeant died in the line of duty.

Sgt. Ryan Proxmire was killed after being shot during a pursuit back in mid-August.

People from all over the country have been coming together for the last five years, donating pieces to be made into quilts honoring fallen law enforcement.

The Proxmire family was one of those families who was presented with one.

"I know from personal experience that that those individuals got into this because they wanted to help people and they wanted to do good work for our community," said Great Lakes Modern Quilt Guild President Stephanie Peterson.

The death of Sgt. Ryan Proxmire hit Kalamazoo County quilter Stephanie Peterson hard, as she said she also has a lot of family in law enforcement.

"I guess I just felt like I wanted to say to them, say to the officers who are serving our communities, 'I get that most of you are here, trying to do a really great job and that we appreciate you, especially when you're putting yourself in harm's way to help others,'" said Peterson.

She wanted to say "thank you," especially to the Proxmire family.

In that sadness, she thought of a woman she followed on Instagram — Jessica Bloomberg, also known as "@CraftyCop". Bloomberg started a project back in 2017 making a quilt for fallen New York Police Officer Miosotis Familia.

With that, Bloomberg got a huge response during the "block drive" for Officer Familia. She received enough pieces to make 81 quilts.

"She gifted it to that family in New York, but then she decided when other police officers were killed, people could write to her and have one of these quilts to present to the family," said Peterson.

Peterson wrote to her in August, asking if she'd be willing to send one to Kalamazoo County for the Proxmire family. Bloomberg said she would.

"Typically a label is sewn on, to sometimes the label will indicate who the quilt is for, who made it, when it was made. This particular quilt has had a label on it that had a very nice quote for the family and the date that it was made," said Peterson.

Peterson presented it to the Proxmire family, and the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office in a small and emotional ceremony last week.

"The creation of this quilt expresses our community of women's profound respect for the work; your loved one did it and a promise that we will never ever forget that they died doing such an honorable... keeping us safe, going to places that others run from and being our hero," said Peterson.

Peterson said the blocks that made up the quilt were donated by people around the United States and estimates it took about 100 hours to put together.

If anyone is interested in helping or donating to this fallen officer quilt project, click here to contact Jessica Bloomberg.

You can also follow her on Instagram: @CraftyCop.

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